Evolving social communications platforms have done a great deal to streamline internal communications in business, yet some organisations still find that their multi-part systems break down when it comes to collating and processing information. According to Jon Mell of IBM’s Social Business division, recently interviewed by technology magazine V3, the secret is to integrate social media with business processes themselves. Mell is keen to promote his company’s Connections service, which many organisations have found useful in this regard, but the principle can also be applied more widely.internal comms blog

One of the problems with many internal networks is that they have been set up piecemeal, bringing in new pieces of software – a forum here, a messaging service there – as these things have come to managers’ attention. In this situation, individual employees gravitate toward the system they feel most at ease with, but they may not end up in the same spaces as others whom they really need to communicate with. What’s more, it can be difficult for managers to keep track of all these disparate bits of communication, extract useful ideas from them and reintroduce those ideas in places where everyone can contribute to their development.

The only logical solution is to slim down the system, but that can present its own challenges, as employees can be defensive about the systems they like. One way to get around this is to draw them all together by creating a single forum where different kinds of messages are posted automatically. This gives managers just one area to monitor, and they can sort messages into threads by subject. Employees can then gradually be encouraged to use this resource directly in order to see what others are saying and participate in discussions, bringing everyone together to share ideas that can contribute to the business and strengthen the team.

Deborah  Hulme, Director, Minerva Engagement

Minerva Engagement improves business from the inside out. Ask us how we can help you to improve internal communications and embed change in your organisation.  View more blogs from Minerva Engagement or follow us on Twitter @MinervaEngage.